UN Joins Condemnation of Israeli Construction Plans
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon joined the condemnation of Israel's announced construction of roughly 3,300 new housing units in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem on Thursday.
While the European Union (EU) stated that it was "deeply disappointed" by the move and called for Israel to "reverse" the construction announcements, Ban was "deeply concerned" according to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, reports AFP.
"As the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions, the building of settlements on occupied territory is illegal under international law," said Dujarric on behalf of Ban. It is worth noting that the 2012 Levy Report found that Judea and Samaria are not "occupied territory" under international law.
Ban called on both parties "to avoid taking unilateral actions on the ground that would further diminish the chances of reaching a negotiated final peace agreement."
The Palestinian Authority (PA) torpedoed peace talks in April by signing a unity deal with the terrorist organization Hamas, with the unity government being formed this Monday. Ban welcomed that government on Tuesday. He also approved the PA's unilateral breach of peace talk conditions by applying to join 15 international conventions in early April.
"The secretary general calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the roadmap," Ban added.
Plans to build 1,800 housing units in the ten separate communities in the region were unfrozen on Thursday, after tenders for roughly 1,500 new homes in the region were announced Wednesday night. The moves were part of Israel's response to the establishment of the unity government between Fatah and the terrorist organization Hamas on Monday.
US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro likewise condemned the Jewish construction on Thursday. The American condemnation was not enough for the PA, which called on the US later on Thursday to take "serious steps" against Israel over the move.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) vowed to appeal to the UN Security Council over the construction.